A SAVANNAH HAUNTING, 103min,. USA, Horror/Thriller
Directed by William Mark McCullough
A SAVANNAH HAUNTING is a film based on real supernatural phenomena the writer/director and his family experienced in their home in Savannah for decades. The film was shot on location at the actual haunted house. The filmmakers attempted to capture the subtle, creepy fear that afflicted the real residents of the home.
A SAVANNAH HAUNTING is a dread-filled, slow burn horror film about a mother grappling with her guilt stemming from the tragic drowning of her youngest daughter. A family moves to Savannah, Georgia to try to distance themselves from the brutal memories of their daughter’s death at their Californian home. Once in their new home the mother slowly grows to believe she is being haunted by her dead daughter. The film ties in Savannah’s brutal slave history and its long connection with Voodoo.
With strong Southern themes, diverse characters including a heroic African-American family and a young lesbian couple, as well filming in the real haunted house that inspired the script, A SAVANNAH HAUNTING takes a fresh approach to the classic haunted house film.
Although Savannah is considered by many to be one of the most haunted cities in the country, no haunted house movie had ever been filmed in the city. A SAVANNAH HAUNTING changes this by making full use of the Gothic city’s foreboding oak trees draped in Spanish moss, its centuries old cemeteries and gorgeous city squares to craft its tale of dark magic and Civil War era hatred.
With the sexy undertones of AMERICAN HORROR STORY; the creeping dread of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and the slow descent into madness of THE SHINING, A SAVANNAH HAUNTING will resonate with audiences who enjoy a thoughtful supernatural thriller.
In addition to the narrative film, the filmmakers shot a documentary detailing the history of the haunting, its possible causes and the struggles they faced trying to film in an active haunted house. The documentary features interviews with former residents of the home, mediums, historians, a Voodoo priestess, and a paranormal investigation team. Faced with a terrified cast and crew threatening to quit the project during pre-production, the filmmakers are forced to take extreme measures to try cleanse the house so they can finish their film.
News & Reviews
- “Film News Roundup”Varietyhttps://variety.com/2020/film/news/colin-trevorrow-jurassic-world-atlantis-universal-1234645392/
- “One Real Haunted House Inspires Two Scary Films”Film Dailyhttps://filmdaily.co/indie-film/a-savannah-haunting/
- “REVIEW – A SPINE TINGLING HAUNTED HOUSE STORY SHOT IN A REAL HAUNTED HOUSE!”WINTER FILM AWARDShttps://winterfilmawards.com/2021/08/a-savannah-haunting-
After earning a political science and theater degree from Mercer University followed by a law degree from American University, William Mark McCullough worked in politics on Capitol Hill before transitioning to film and television. Mark now works as an actor, director, writer and producer.
Mark has been directed by multiple Academy Award winners and acted opposite many stars including Glenn Close in the Ron Howard drama, Hillbilly Elegy; Tom Cruise in the Doug Liman thriller, American Made; Channing Tatum in the Steven Soderbergh comedy, Logan Lucky; Nicolas Cage in the Steven C. Miller crime thriller, Arsenal; and Mahershala Ali in the Gary Ross drama, Free State Of Jones. Mark appeared in recurring guest star roles on the Fox series, LA’s Finest; the Netflix series, Sweet Magnolias; the Fox series, The Gifted and the PBS series, Mercy Street.
Mark has written, directed and produced multiple short films.
Mark and his partner, Alexis Nelson, founded Fort Argyle Films for the purpose of making captivating films and television shows for a wide range of audiences.
Because A Savannah Haunting is based on the experiences me and my family endured in my house, I knew I had to direct the film. No one else could capture the truth of the terror as much as someone who lived through it. Because my home, in many ways, acts as a character in the film and has such a unique architectural style, I chose to use my actual house as the setting for the film.
We were one of the first films in the country to shoot during the Covid pandemic. Although the protocols we had to follow were extraordinarily difficult, our team pulled together to help ensure no one working on our film contracted the virus.
As an actor myself, I get immense joy from working with actors to create powerful, compelling, truthful performances. From the leads to the day players, our cast was phenomenal. Even working under intense conditions, they brought such creative energy and a willingness to play and explore. Watching the characters I had created on the page come to life in such a powerful way in front of the camera was unbelievably satisfying.
Everyone from our cinematographer to our PAs worked tirelessly to get our film completed. With a tight budget and limited hours for filming due to the Covid protocols, it was not easy making A Savannah Haunting. But the hard work and creativity of our crew allowed us to not only finish the film, but to create something that we are all proud of.
From the moment I first wrote the script, I always wanted to make a horror film that felt real and reflected the experiences people truly endure in a haunting. I believe we accomplished that with A Savannah Haunting.